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Title: Section 6-2.19 - Bathing beach design standards

Effective Date


6-2.19 Bathing beach design standards.

0.0 Introduction. These standards are to be used by public health officials, design engineers and architects, and the owners and operators of bathing beaches for the design of new or modified bathing beaches regulated by this Subpart. These standards are enacted to ensure adequate design and establishment of bathing beaches, reflecting current safety and sanitary requirements. These standards are applicable to all bathing beaches located on ponds, lakes, streams or other bodies of water in the State.

1.0 Definitions.

1.1 Bathing beach shall mean a bathing place, together with any buildings and appurtenances, and the water and land areas used in connection therewith, at a pond, lake, stream or other body of fresh or salt water which is used for bathing or swimming with the express or implied permission or consent of the owner or lessee of the premises or which is operated for a fee or any other consideration or which is openly advertised as a place for bathing or swimming.

1.2 Uniform Code shall mean the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, 9 NYCRR Subtitle S, Chapter I.

1.3 Adequate shall mean sufficient to accomplish the purpose for which something is intended, and to such a degree that no unreasonable risk to health or safety is presented. An item installed, maintained, designed and assembled, an activity conducted or act performed, in accordance with generally accepted standards, principles or practices applicable to a particular trade, business, occupation or profession, is adequate within the meaning of this Subpart.

2.0 Submission of plans.

2.1 General. Preliminary plans and the engineer's report should be submitted for review prior to the preparation of final plans. No approval for construction shall be issued until final, complete, detailed plans and specifications have been submitted to the permit-issuing official (PIO) and are approved. Documents submitted for formal approval shall contain sufficient information to demonstrate to the permit-issuing official that the proposed bathing beach, or improvements thereto, will meet the design standards specified in this section, and shall include, but not be limited to:

2.1.1 Detailed description of the watershed, with location and identification of all potential sources of contamination, including any anticipated future development.

2.1.2 Location of access roads, parking, buildings, water supplies, sanitary and storm sewers, electrical and telephone services and the proposed facilities relative to existing facilities.

2.1.3 Date, address, name, professional seal, and signature of the designing engineer or architect.

2.1.4 Location relative to nearest population center with service facilities, such as medical, fire protection and communication.

2.1.5 Maximum and average attendance and swimmer loads.

2.1.6 Source, quality, quantity and characteristics of water.

2.1.7 Area designations, bottom slopes and materials.

3.0 Sanitary survey report. A report reflecting the results of a sanitary survey shall include the following information:

3.1 Watershed supplying bathing area. A map shall depict the watershed, including but not limited to existing waste-water discharges, landfills or other facilities that may have an impact on water quality, adjacent land use and major physical contours, highways, etc. The extent of the watershed to be mapped should be based upon knowledge of the characteristics of the watershed. All potential sources of pollution and waste-water discharges must be shown.

3.2 Plot maps. A map drawn to scale, showing the actual bathing beach location, dimensions, contours, existing land use and waste-water discharges within 10,000 feet of the proposed beach, unless otherwise required by the PIO.

3.3 Water level. Seasonal or anticipated water level variations.

3.4 Sources of contamination. Listing of type and size of existing and potential sources of contamination, volume, occurring only with specific weather conditions, and the concentration of the materials in the effluent that might adversely affect the bathing beach water. The potential for contamination during and after storm events must be included.

3.5 Weather and topographical influences. Prevalent wind direction during bathing season, rainfall, current measurement, topography, or unusual factors.

3.6 Bathing beach water quality. A history of the bacteriological quality, pH, and the turbidity of the proposed body of water shall be researched from all possible sources. The results of at least one set of representative bacterial samples, pH tests, and turbidity tests each week for a period of eight weeks shall be included. Eight sets of samples shall include at least one set after heavy rains consisting of daily samples for a five-day period.

3.7 Physical and chemical. The physical and chemical quality of bathing water, including objectionable color, odor, taste and other substances capable of producing unusual quality problems. A history of any unusual quality problems encountered in the bathing water should be included.

3.8 Biological. The biological quality of bathing area water, including objectionable vegetation, infectious snails, and poisonous or dangerous aquatic organisms, shall be discussed.

3.9 Fishing, boating or canoeing. Location of boat traffic, marinas or boat dockage area, any canoeing activity or fishing.

3.10 Auxiliary water source. Location, flow rate of auxiliary water source to augment low flow.

4.0 Design. The following criteria shall be used for establishing a bathing beach:

4.1 Location. The suitability of the site shall be established by a sanitary survey.

4.2 Area. The water surface area of the body of water where the beach is developed shall be at least one acre. When the area is less than four acres and 100 gallons per bather per day of natural flow-through in the bathing area is lacking, a source of dilution water of at least 100 gallons per bather per day must be provided with minimum water quality meeting the provisions of section 6-2.15 of this Subpart.

4.3 Bather use. A minimum of 25 square feet of water surface per bather shall be provided. At least 75 square feet per bather must be provided in the area over four feet deep.

4.4 Land area. At least 35 square feet of land area per bather should be provided.

4.5 Bottom slopes. For depths up to four feet, the slope shall be uniform and not exceed 1:10. For greater depths, the slope should not exceed 1:3.

4.6 Bottom materials. The bottom up to a water depth of six feet shall consist of sand, pea gravel or other similar material.

4.7 Area designations.

4.7.1 Location of lines. Marker lines with buoys shall be provided at all beaches, except Great Lakes or ocean beaches, to designate the perimeter, the separation of shallow and deep-end areas at a depth of three to four feet, the diving area, and dropoffs, radical changes in slopes or underwater obstructions. A separate wading area up to two feet deep, designated by lines, should be provided.

4.7.2 Installation. Lines shall have floats at five-foot intervals and be securely anchored, and have buoys no more than 25 feet apart and at points where lines are joined.

4.7.3 Depth markers. Clearly visible depth markers shall be provided at all the diving boards, platforms and similar facilities, together with warning signs stating "No Diving" where depth is less than eight feet.

4.8 Diving facilities.

4.8.1 Platforms. Floating diving piers and fixed platforms shall be constructed with a visible 12-inch air space under maximum feasible load. There shall be as little underwater construction as is consistent with adequate support. All braces and struts shall be designed to prevent entrapment of bathers. For solid floatation devices such as foam blocks, no air space is required.

4.8.2 Depths. Diving from rafts, piers or other platforms shall be prohibited, unless a minimum water depth of eight feet is provided and maintained for a distance of at least ten feet forward of the diving direction. For a diving board or other device three or less feet above the water, the depth at the end of it, and for 12 feet beyond it, shall be 10 feet. For heights above water greater than three feet, the depths at those locations shall be 12 feet and twenty feet beyond it. No diving device more than 10 feet above water shall be installed.

4.9 Water currents. Water currents in the bathing area shall not exceed three feet/second.

4.10 Sewage discharges. No waste-water discharges from sewage treatment plants, combined sewers or other sources shall be permitted within 750 feet of the bathing beach.

4.11 Water quality. Bathing beaches shall meet the water quality criteria for bacteriological, physical and chemical quality specified below.

4.11.1 Bacteriological quality. Based on the mean of the logarithms of the results of 5 or more samples collected in a 30 day period, the upper value for the density of bacteria shall be: 2,400 total coliform bacteria per 100 ml; or 200 fecal coliform bacteria per 100 ml; or 33 enterococci per 100 ml for freshwater; or 35 enterococci per 100 ml for marine water; or 126 E.coli per 100 ml for freshwater (E.coli is not to be used as an indicator in marine water.

4.11.2 Chemical quality. The water shall be free of chemical substances capable of creating toxic reactions, skin or membrane irritations to the general public.

4.11.3 Physical quality--water clarity. In all bathing areas, except the Great Lakes or ocean beaches, it shall be possible to see an eight-inch black-and-white disk in four feet of water. Clarity tests should be performed at a four foot depth in the bathing area at a minimum of three different locations. A map depicting test locations, dates of sampling and current conditions should be submitted.

4.12 Electrical requirements. 4.12.1 Wiring shall conform to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, 9 NYCRR Subtitle S, Chapter I, and the requirements of the appropriate regulatory agency. A certificate shall be submitted for all new electrical work.

4.12.2 Overhead clearance. No overhead electrical wiring shall pass within 20 feet horizontally of the bathing beach water line.

5.0 Bathhouse.

5.1 General. Adequate toilet and handwashing facilities shall be provided for all bathing beaches.

5.2 Bathhouse design. Floors of the bathhouse shall be of smooth-finished material with nonslip surfaces, impervious to moisture, cleanable and sloped at least one-fourth inch per foot to drains. Carpeting shall not be permitted in shower and toilet areas or other areas receiving bathers. Junctions between walls and floors shall be coved. Walls and partitions shall be of smooth, impervious materials, free from cracks or open joints. Partitions between dressing cubicles shall terminate at least 10 inches above the floor or shall be placed on continuous raised masonry or concrete bases at least four inches high. Lockers shall be set either on solid masonry or concrete bases at least four inches high or on legs with bottom of locker at least 10 inches above the floor. Lockers shall be vented.

5.3 Fixture requirements. An adequate number of toilet and handwashing facilities shall be provided. 5.3.1 Fixtures. Plumbing fixtures and installations shall be in accordance with the Uniform Code.

5.4 Water supply. The source and quality of water supply serving the plumbing fixtures, including drinking fountains, lavatories and showers, shall after treatment meet the applicable requirements of Part 5 of this Title for potable water.

5.5 Drinking fountains. Where drinking fountains are provided, at least one drinking fountain for each 500 feet distance or for every 1,000 users or fraction thereof should be provided. The drinking fountains shall be of slanting jet type with surrounding guard, nonsubmersible opening. These shall be located at a convenient point and shall be supplied with a minimum of 20 psi adequate water pressure.

5.6 Waste-water disposal. Waste-water from a bathhouse or related facilities shall be discharged to a municipal sewerage system, when available. If not available, the substitute system shall be approved by the State Commissioner of Health or such other agency having jurisdiction over sewage plan approval.

5.7 Suits and towels. Where towels and/or swimming suits are provided, facilities shall be provided to launder, store and sanitize these items after each usage.

5.8 Hose bibbs. Hose bibbs with vacuum breakers must be provided within the bathhouse to enable the entire area to be flushed with a 50-foot hose.

5.9 Ventilation. All enclosed places, dressing rooms, shower rooms and toilets shall be ventilated by natural or mechanical means to provide a minimum of two air changes per hour.

6.0 Safety provisions.

6.1 Signs. For beaches using Supervision Level I or IIb aquatic supervision, when no lifeguard is on duty at a beach, a legible sign or signs stating "No Lifeguard on Duty--Swimming Prohibited" shall be posted. The sign shall be a minimum 36" x 24" in size, with letters at least two inches high. "No Swimming" signs shall be posted at areas not permitted/approved for bathing on property adjoining the designated bathing area that is owned or under the control of the permit holder.

6.2 Lifesaving equipment. Lifesaving equipment shall be provided as required in section 6-2.17(b) of this Subpart.

6.2.1 Boats/Boards. An adequate rescue board or an adequate boat shall be provided at all beaches where Supervision Level I or IIb aquatic supervision is required. Where b athing is permitted more than 150 feet from the bathing shoreline, llifesaving patrol boats or offshore lifesaving stations shall be provided. Each such boat shall be at least 12 feet long, equipped with pin oars, one life pole or shepherd's crook type of pole having blunt ends, and one ring or torpedo buoy or rescue tube and life vests. Such boats shall be used for patrol, search and rescue purposes only.

6.2.2 Equipment at lifeguard station. Elevated lifeguard chairs shall be located as close as practicable to the bathing area shoreline to provide a clear, unobstructed view of the bathing area. A rescue tube or torpedo buoy with six feet of line, or a rescue can with 500-foot hauling line.

6.2.3 Maintenance. Safety equipment shall have its function plainly marked, and shall be kept in good repair and in ready condition. Bathers or others shall not be permitted to tamper with or use such equipment for any other than its intended use, or remove it from its established location.

6.3 Communication. A telephone(s) or other means of communication, with numbers posted of nearest squad, physician, ambulance, police agency and hospital, shall be provided at each beach.

6.4 Emergency care room. Every bathing beach capable of accommodating 500 swimmers and bathers shall have a readily accessible room or area designated and equipped for emergency care. Such room shall be equipped with at least the following: running potable water, a cot or bed, with blankets and sheets, advanced first aid supplies at least equivalent to 24 units, and resuscitation equipment.

6.5 Solid waste. An adequate number of leak-proof solid waste receptacles with self-closing lids shall be placed in the beach area.

6.6 Dangerous objects on beach. Glass containers shall not be permitted on the beach.




VOLUME A (Title 10)